Dragon Egg Gazette, Issue 3

The Dragon Egg Gazette

Issue 3: June 19, 2020

A student newspaper that is part of the “Enchanted Forest” D&D campaign. 


From the Editor’s Desk

It has been more than three months since we published an outer planes issue of The Dragon Egg Gazette.  This paper originally came about from a conversation I had with Ann Wycoff, my human friend and frequent visitor to Dragon Egg from the outer planes.  She sometimes plays a sort of storytelling game with her friends called Dungeons & Dragons, which is one part board game and another part acting where the players take on the role of a hero or adventurer. Ann is usually the facilitator or “dungeon master” of the game.

The most interesting part of Ann’s game, in my mind, is she uses our real world as the setting or backdrop, but all of her players think it is a fantastic realm of make believe because their reality doesn’t have any dragonborn, elves or even goblins!

Apparently there have been a lot of big, important things going on that has put Ann’s D&D game on hold for awhile now.  So she hasn’t been around to help us with the outer planes stuff.  Fortunately, Ann visited Dragon Egg recently to procure some ingredients for a magic wand, and to “check out the Haunted Bridge for myself.”  (Scary!  I wish my parents would let me go see it.)  She also stopped by our offices and made arrangements to publish this issue you are reading now for the humans back home.  Thanks, Ann!

If you have an article you’d like to see published in The Dragon Egg Gazette, let me know in the comments or email me (c/o Ann if you are a human from the outer planes) via the email address on her Greetings page.

Wondermist

Flying Glowing Green Dragon clip art

The Haunted Bridge

by Staff Writer

“The keen-eyed traveler will notice a stone block here, poking up through the verdant carpet of the forest floor, perhaps another nestled under a fern before coming upon the crumbling, masonry pilings that are all that remains of the site once called Blood Drinker’s Bridge,” Forcrath Silverspur wrote in Points of Interest in the Enchanted Forest: An Adventure Tourism Guide, which introduces his article about the Haunted Bridge.

Haunted Bridge area as seen through Darkvision

Area near Haunted Bridge site as seen via darkvision.**

The ruins are located some distance south along the road a little over half way from Dragon Egg to East Egg.*  Here are five facts you may not know about the Haunted Bridge from Doctor Forcrath’s 1972 book.

  1. The now non-existent stream, which the Haunted Bridge used to cross, was magically dried up in 1605 when a vampire named Torsten the Fierce and other unknown casters completed a powerful series of spells that evaporated all of the streams, pools and other natural, standing bodies of water within the Enchanted Forest.  This took place during the Vampire War and was done because it is well known that most vampires cannot cross such bodies of water.  Torsten’s actions were a prelude to a general invasion.  Such was the power of Torsten’s magic that the stream has never come back in the more than four hundred years since.
  2. The site is not believed to be intrinsically dangerous, but it is thought that select dark spells and the creation of forbidden items can be facilitated by ingredients available on the site, such as certain powdered minerals and odd salts.  As such, the Haunted Bridge is sometimes frequented by dangerous individuals it is better not to meet.  Be careful if you visit!
  3. No one knows who built the bridge.  Scholars agree that it dates back to the 12th or 13th Century and facilitated trade with the human inhabitants on what was then the edge of the Enchanted Forest, which was much further south then than it is now.
  4. While plant life flourishes in the environs around the Haunted Bridge, magically-inclined or sensitive people report feelings of “general unease,” nightmares, and so forth when they stay in the area for more than a few hours.  Some also report bouts of bad luck after prolonged contact with the ruin.
  5. Mindless undead are attracted to the area.  The Dragon Egg Special Arbor Service conducts regular patrols to deal with the skeletons, zombies and so on before they build up to a level that becomes a problem.

* See Issue One for a map of the Enchanted Forest containing among other things, the location of the Haunted Bridge (Ed).

** Photo credit:  Thoolmar.  I’d love to learn that spell she used to make a picture while she was looking at the Haunted Bridge once I get far enough along at school and learn to cast high enough level spells.  Perhaps in a year or two you’d like to trade, Thoolmar? (Ed.)

Tree Symbol Clip Art

A Short Interview with the Introverted Hermit

by Biri Blackwing

We have been following the exploits, for quite some time now, of the human artist from the outer planes known as The Introverted Hermit.  She is best known in Dragon Egg for her Monday Mandala feature, where each week she shares a new mandala of her own creation.  The Hermit is up to #47, as this paper goes to press, so she has been doing this for awhile.

The Introverted Hermit also recently started an Etsy shop.  She is currently selling black & white downloads of some of her mandalas suitable for coloring.  Seems like coloring one of those with crayons or colored pencils or maybe even using some water colors might be fun.

Butterfly 125 wide

Q:  Why did you start making art?

Hermit: I’ve always had a need to be doing something creative – whether it was painting, dancing, writing, or drawing.  It speaks to and calms my soul in a way nothing else does.

Q: ‘Mandala 25’ is very attractive, especially with your colorization.  I have talked to several elves, who speak very favorably of your use of geometric patterns.  I read in your article, “Progress,” your reference to “Native American” and “Nazca art.”  What inspired you to create this piece, in addition to evoking themes from the aforementioned traditions?

Hermit: I think every artist is inspired by something.  I’ve always been fascinated with geometric, abstract patterns as well as by the art of the Nazca people.  I’ve also always had an interest in the art of Native Americans, since that is part of my own heritage.  The feelings those patterns and themes evoke allows me to explore my own thoughts and feelings during the process of creation.

Q: Is there an element of Art you enjoy the most?  What do you find the most challenging?  Why?

I think the most joy I get out of creating is in the process itself – allowing my own thoughts and feelings out onto the paper without worry or fear.  The most challenging part for me is to quiet my inner critic and to allow the joy and wonder of the process to just flow.  I think we all subject ourselves negative self-talk and overcoming that criticism, that fear of failure, can be very difficult.

introverted hermit mandala 25 colorized

Mandala 25 created and colorized by the Introverted Hermit

Q: I read some of your thoughts concerning being an artist, “imposter syndrome,” and so on, here and here.  (We think you’re a great artist by the way.)  How would you define what it means to be an artist?  Do you think there is a distinction between an Artist versus ” a creative” versus someone who simply “does art?”

Thank you! I think everyone is an artist – it’s just that we sometimes don’t recognize it.  Working with numbers is an art.  Working with words is an art.  Cooking is an art (one I certainly haven’t mastered!).  We all show our creativity in different ways, but everyone – from the tallest to the smallest, from the richest to the poorest, is an artist in some way.  And everything overlaps.  A painter is an artist, sure, but there are many other things they have to know – color theory, composition, lighting, musculature, how bodies move, ratios for color mixing, etc.  Art, and artists, are everywhere, if you just look.

Q: One elvish reader asks, “I see from reading your work that you sometimes encounter challenges moving forward with your work and getting things done.  I have started having this problem more and more myself, especially after I passed into my fourth century.  Do you have any tips or tricks to recommend that I could use to continue to move forward with my projects?  Thank you.”

I think as we age, it’s easy to become jaded and bored with things we want or need to do.  One thing I find that helps me is to have several projects going at once.  That way if I get bored or frustrated with one, I can move to another one and give myself a bit of break.  Once you’re concentrating on something else, your subconscious will often work out a solution to a problem and you’ll be able to see it when you return to the work.  And sometimes, we all just need a break – a rest, to recharge those artistic impulses.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I’m flattered to be asked about my work.  One of the best things about creating something is to see how other people interpret what you’ve done.  Often, they will have a reaction that you weren’t expecting, and for me, that’s one of the biggest joys.  It’s like watching that creative spark jump from my work into someone else and that’s an amazing thing.

Introverted hermit mandala 25 black and white 125 wide

Shopping in Dragon’s Egg

by Thulunil Ummair

Everyone knows that adventurers love nothing better than to go shopping after getting back to town following their latest successful quest.  Smart adventurers know that some of the best shopping around can be had at the businesses in our own town of Dragon’s Egg.  Even people from the outer planes sometimes come here for their magical and mundane needs!  Here are five well-known establishments.

  • Bamira’s Stones (Gems and common magical components).  Owner:  Bamira Burntree (dragonborn).  While her public shop is quite small and features mainly mundane items, a much more extensive collection of wares can be had if you are one of her “preferred customers.”
  • Feather Fall Archery.  Proprietor: Oram Brightspear (elf).  A wide selection of long and short bows as well as a sideline of thrown weapons.  There is a sign prominently visible as one enters the shop that reads, “Crossbowmen not welcome.”  Even mentioning the word “crossbow” is enough to receive a permanent ban from the shop!
  • Kobold Or Go Home (General Merchandise).  Owner: Queequeg (kobold); Proprietor:  Gree (kobold).  Does a lot of business with goblins, which is ironic because Queequeg is well known to dislike goblins.  Yet he has a reputation for scrupulously fair dealing, and some of the people who sing his praises the highest are the aforementioned goblins.
  • Temple of the Green Dragon.  First Priest F’Rhogar Goldleaf (dragonborn).  The religious center of Dragon Egg dedicated to our god, Great Dragon.  Aspects currently emphasized are The Warrior, The Guardian, and The Healer.  A green dragon magician, Chrysophylax, lairs on the premises.  There is also a shrine within the outer gardens dedicated to all of the other gods, both draconic and otherwise.
  • Twelve Hammers (Metalwork).  “Dragon Egg’s Finest Smith Shop.”  Owner:  Falasar Moonclaw (dragonborn).  Large staff  of artisans fabricating everything smithing-related from basic tools to highly ornamented weapons, gatework, etc.  Can also contract for precious metals work, and so on.  Has a reputation for high prices and excellent quality.  Can have long waits if you are not a regular customer.

Corrections & Clarifications

The Temple of the Great Dragon contacted us concerning our story, “Raising the Dead:  Did You Know?” from the previous issue.  They pointed out that Great Dragon commonly gifts clergy with the spell Revivify, “making it possible to return an individual to life, who has just died.  This dweomercraft is effective even in the absence of a great vow, and has saved many lives on the battlefield, during parturition and so on.”

The temple representative went on to say, “Spells like Revivify are common magics but gods can gift us in many marvelous and unusual ways too.  Their will and power sometimes transcends system and category.  Remember First Priest Goldleaf’s words:  “Those who think that magic or magical beings follow universal laws or some system of Causality or Necessity are gravely mistaken.'”


Staff

Biri “Wondermist” Blackwing, Editor-in-Chief
Thulunil Ummair, Assistant Editor
Ann Wycoff, Contributing Editor/Outer Planes Correspondent
Your Name Could Be Here!

Dragon Seated black clip art

Completed Poxwalker Mob!

Let the plague bells ring!  Friends, I have at long last closed the books on my mob of twenty Dark Imperium poxwalkers with this round-up.  I started putting the wretches together in June 2017, when the boxed set came out, and now we come full circle to June 2020.  What a long, disease-ridden road (punctuated with both apathy and frenzied activity) it has been!

Twenty Poxwalkers June 10 2020

For the Grandfather!

My Dark Imperium poxwalker posts for this mob:

Although it took me three years to get the full mob painted, my poxwalkers have certainly distinguished themselves in battle, along with their running mates the plaguebearers, especially during that fruitful time of mid-2017 through 2018, when I was playing games of Warhammer 40K almost every week.

I’ve built up a pretty decent-sized force of minor Nurgle troops thus far.  Twenty plaguebearers with a couple of minor leader types, the poxwalkers (of course) and let’s not forget the semi-official mascots including Toad, Rusty the rust monster, and the bit box skeletal snake thingie.

So what’s next Nurgle-wise?  I have no shortage of projects to choose from, but the one that shines turgidly forth burbling out to be kicked back to the top of the painting heap is my long suffering daemon engine, Becky the Bloat Drone.  She has been abandoned not once but twice and maybe even thrice, though I’ve lost track so I am not sure about that.  We’ll have to see what we can do to remedy the situation once Frank’s Pig Demon is done.

Becky the Bloater WIP Ink Sketch 400 wide

Being a daemon engine ain’t easy.

Until next time, qapla’ and …

Paint On keeping fighting guy

 

Commissar Poxwalker #19 Completed

I finished Commissar Poxwalker #19 here before its counterpart, Khorne Flower Poxwalker #20, who is also a commissar, as chance would have it.*  The picture-taking got a little out of order but I’ve gotten that all sorted and can now present this (not quite) latest addition to my foetid forces.

Poxwalker #19 Front view June 9 2020
There wasn’t a lot of blister and pox highlighting to be done on this one, because of the greatcoat, so I thought I’d go for a fairly mild case of yellow mold.**  This time I was careful to spread the texture paste without pulling away the paste too much with my sculpting tool.  I wasn’t going for a bunch of little spiky bits like I got on my poxbringer’s arm.

I forget how I painted the mold this time, but it looks like I used some bright green, followed by bright yellow and then a glaze from maybe Waywatcher Green or perhaps Biel-Tan Green with a little satin finish.  I’ll have to try this again and write down what I did next time so I don’t forget in the time between completing the model and typing up a blog post.

Poxwalker #19 rear view June 9 2020

I did the dorsal tentacles and left arm with Flesh Tearers Red Contrast and Nuln Oil Gloss, then brightened them up with some thinned down Blood Angels Red Contrast followed by Evil Sun Scarlet.  I used Basilicanum Grey Contrast to emphasize the separations between the tentacles.  I find using contrast paint in this way easier than using washes because the former don’t flow all over the place so one can be a bit more targeted.

I’ve been having fun lately doing a little post-production with my pictures.***  So we’ll wrap up Commissar Poxwalker’s moment in the Verdigris Sun with a few of these sort of offerings.  Don’t mind Bits Box Skeletal Snake Thingie; I think it has spent so many years entombed in the sepulchral darkness of the game store bits box that it grabs any chance for attention it can get.  Truly, it is incredibly needy for a mindless undead.****
  

So that is it for this penultimate poxwalker post.  I’ll do one more of the whole crew and put paid to this playful party of putrescent perambulators.  I’m continuing to work on Frank’s Pig Demon, which I hope to have done before the end of June, since that is my planned offering for the Miniatures of Magnitude Painting Challenge.

Take care all.

Red Biohard clip art with circle around it 100 wide

* Or possesses the greatcoat of a commissar, which can be much the same thing at times.

** I had a bit of a chuckle reading what my poxbringer had to say about yellow mold almost two years ago now.  I had completely forgotten about our little chat.

*** If this continues I might have to break down and learn how to use Photoshop versus just fiddling around with the little paint program I’m currently fumbling around with.

**** For instance, Skeletal Snake is constantly reminding me that it “never got its own blog post and just got stuck in with some badly-painted poxwalkers like 30 years ago.”  Even though I’ve promised to use it in a D&D game someday and have given this pestiferous haunt a place as a token/marker/mascot in my forces, I still have to put up with its whining.  This is surely not what I expected when I began perusing forbidden tomes and conducting vile painting experiments.  Oh well, now it’s got me whining too.  Such is the hard life of a Necromantrix!

Birthday fit for a King!

I had another birthday not too long ago and it was a fun day.*  My family made me a sort of rectangular cake.  I was pretty impressed that it was five layers and it is always lovely to have a birthday cake that is handmade instead of something from the grocery store or bakery.  The candy bits were good too.  I don’t eat much in the way of candy these days so it was a welcome treat and I spent the evening and most of the next day dancing on the frosting edge of gluttony-induced sickness, like the Masque.

Birthday Cake June 2020

It was tasty too:  yellow cake with white frosting is my favorite.

Received some fun presents too.  On the hobby front, my husband, after classified consultations, duplicitous deceits, nebulous negotiations, and perplexing pacts, within and without the Dark Mechanicum, presented me with a Chaos Knight and a pair of baby knights!**

We spent a little time before the party doing a Social Distanced Birthday Hike.  We saw this fine, serpentine personage when we were crossing some railroad tracks.  It isn’t every day that you meet a talking snake so I dug out my cell phone, snapped this picture and went on our way as directed.***

I had never seen this species of snake before, but it didn’t look like the coral snakes I had encountered in the ’80’s when I lived in Texas.  (We’re living in the hills outside of Santa Cruz, California now.)  Once I got home and investigated the matter a little more, I learned that my loquacious friend was a California Mountain Kingsnake.****

California mountain kingsnake June 2020 talking

Not very friendly, really.

For next time I hope to post a work-in-progress picture of Frank’s Pig Demon that I’m trying to complete for the Miniatures of Magnitude painting challenge, which ends on July 3rd.  So far the challenge seems to be shaping up nicely with completed offerings by Azazel’s Bitz Box, Convert or Die, Dreadaxe Games, Just Needs Varnish!, and Scent of a Gamer.

Until next time, I hope everyone is well.

Balloon Clip Art 125 wide

* It is amazing how fast the years go by now.  I suspect it all is some sort of unasked for boon/blessing from Tzeentch or something in return for painting a bunch of lesser horrors back in 2017.

** I suspect that that my husband might have made plans within plans within some sort of overall master plan birthday present-wise.  I have been making vague, periodic noises, which probably won’t ever amount to anything, about “nurgling up” an imperial knight that has been sitting in his office closet for like five years now.  He has always grumbled about this being a grave insult to both (his beloved) Ultramarines and Questor Imperialis House Wycoff.  So maybe he’s trying to redirect and outsmart me?  If so, color me outsmarted and happily so!

*** I don’t like to stress out wild animals by lingering around them or picking them up, so we moved on fairly quickly.

**** I received a post about “Degenerate Serpentfolk” right in the middle of typing up this little spiel about my friend the kingsnake.  I wonder if this is some sort of cryptic message from the Ruinous Powers that I need to include some more snakes (other than just this lone representative) in my coterie?

 

 

Poxwalker #20 (with a Khorne Flower?)

So I’m seeing the light at the end of purulent tunnel, as it were, poxwalker-wise with this latest offering.  I had plans to go with a similar orange type flesh that I was so pleased with on the last one, but as seems to so often be the case with my diseased quasi-zombies when I do have a plan it seldom comes off as planned.

Poxwalker #20 Front dark view

I had a little extra green stuff on hand (I’m guessing) the year or two ago when I glopped a candle onto its horn.  For once I wasn’t trying to hide a broken off tip, which seems to have become pretty common for me over the last few years.*  Perhaps I need to ease off a point or two on the Slaanesh-based energy drinks that cause my hands to shake and roil (temporarily) with sneering finger tentacles?

The candle itself was easy enough to paint.  White primer, sepia wash, off-white layer and then a bit of brighter white toward the top near the flame.  For the flame, I used the recipe from White Dwarf #57 (February 2015) entitled “Khorne’s Wrath.”  Overall I’m pleased but I do think I’ll be more careful with the Nuln Oil next time.  I’m happy with how the flame looks from the back but less so from the front.  I made several unsuccessful attempts to make myself happier with the front of the flame before finally giving up before I made things worse since I didn’t want to  have to go over the flame with Ceramite White and do it over again.

Poxwalker #20 Rear dark view

Using a recipe from a publication dedicated to Khorne is probably where I went wrong, and I should have been on my guard when I went for orange flesh and ended up with red.**  Well, I had put some green stuff on my poxwalker’s shoulder with the idea of it looking like wax that had dripped down from its horn candle.  Seemed like a good idea at the time but I wasn’t satisfied with how I executed it.  So I thought of trying something a little different and busted out my jar of Golden’s fiber paste.

I started out with the idea of creating some textured flesh or perhaps a slightly sticky or spiky area like the yellow mold on my poxbringer.  Imagine my surprise when I slapped on some of this paste, drew it out a bit with my sculpting tool and ended up with what you see below!

I let my creation dry overnight, closed my eyes and wondered on the festering mysteries of the Grandfather’s Garden.  The next day, when I was brushing some primer on this new doodad, a voice screeched in my mind.  It resonated somewhere between a broken concertina and claws rasping over a blackboard.  How charming.

“‘Nurgle?  Nurgle!  Vile mortal, you have decapitated a bud from the sanguine Hothouse of Khorne!  You are without a doubt both stupid, ugly, and a stinking fleshbag whose crumbling, rotted skull is not fit for Khorne’s cesspit much less His Throne!”

“Isn’t that three things, young demon?”

“SSSSSCCCCCREEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!”

“SCREEE!”

“Get not thine nether regions in a complete twist young firebrand, for as the Burning Books sayeth, ‘He cares not from whence the sap flows so long that it flows!'” I countered.  It all went downhill from there as it so often does when treating with the Ruinous Powers.  C’est la vie.

Poxwalker #20 Vignette Portrait

Hope I got Commissar Poxwalker’s best side.

Anyway, some sharp-eyed reader might be wondering how in Tzeentch’s name we went from poxwalker #18 to poxwalker #20.  Well, I did get #19 done, but I’m not happy with the pictures I took so I’m going to take more over the weekend and will post them soon.  It’ll be happy times indeed when I do for then and only then will I be able to close the books on my Dark Imperium poxwalkers, which I started so long ago now.***

khorne20bullet20point20graphic2002_zpsh7cfhuus

* There was the broken tip that I turned into a tentacle spike on poxwalker #18.  Then there was the plaguebearer with a banner, and of course who can forget Maggotmouth’s nameless friend (from early 2018) whose broken horn I ended up sharpening like a pencil?

** On the other hand, I’m sure this guy and these people approve!

*** June 2017.

April 2020 “Paint the Crap You Already Own!” Painting Challenge Round-up (Part 2 of 2)

Welcome to second half of the April 2020 Paint the Crap You Already Own! painting challenge.  Part One of this painting challenge round-up can be found here.

John at Just Needs Varnish French HQ looking at map small filler art ink sketch effect

Yes, here!

First up is John’s Franco-Prussian War marching Prussian infantry, currently on parade from Just Needs Varnish!.  John mentioned that this “marching unit is a bit different from the others I’ve painted.”  He makes a good point.  Now that I think about it, I haven’t seen many marching units like this one either on the tabletop.  Plenty of units at attention or in action, of course, but not marching.

These figures are from “the Emhar plastic 1:72 FPW Prussian Infantry set,” and the officer is “a metal figure from Hagen Miniatures.”

John at Just Needs Varnish Marching Prussian Infantry

Looking good but that private in the back and fourth in from the left needs to get back in step!

John mentions that the “Prussian coats are described as black-grey,” and thus are lighter than the real thing.  You can read more about what he has to say on the issue here if you’d like.  Whatever the case, I think they would look good.

He also painted some Prussian field artillery to go along with his infantry.  All of the figures in the gun battery below “are from the B&B Miniatures 20mm FPW range.”  In games, when the gun is being moved, John places it on the lengthened base “behind its limber.”

John at Just Needs Varnish Prussian field gun with crew and limber

I like how that one wheel is sunk a little into the mud.  (Vallejo Flat Brown for the horses.)

Below we have a French Mitrailleuse team.  John reports that “In English, Mitrailleuse is the name given to the first machine gun in French service in the Franco-Prussian War, the Reffy Mitrailleuse.”  John also has a couple of interesting videos showing how the Montigny (1863) and Reffy (1867) versions of the Mitrailleuse operated.

John at Just Needs Varnish French Mitrailleuse Team

French mitrailleuse (machine gun) team.  John says this looks more like the Montigny version.

The story behind this Headquarters base of a “French senior officer conferring with one of his aides,” gave me quite a chuckle when John wrote the officer was “wondering why he hasn’t got a map of France.”  Apparently the French expected that they would be invading Germany and consequently didn’t have maps of France.  Turns out the Prussians had “tourist maps of France” aplenty.  Either way doesn’t exactly sound ideal!

John at Just Needs Varnish French HQ looking at map

Face it, monsieur, we’re lost … again!

Dave of Faith&Steel is working on increasing his Chinese Bolt Action forces and toward that worthy end completed a GAZ jeep.  The model is produced by Warlord Games.  I had never heard of these vehicles before so I poked around and learned there were several versions.  (At first glance I thought it was one of these but the nose and fenders were wrong.)  I asked Dave which version he thought his miniature was and he believed it was a GAZ-67B.

Faith and Steel GAZ Jeep front view

Snazzy sunglasses!

According to Wikipedia, “GAZ” stands for Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod, which translates to Gorky Automobile Plant.  The GAZ-64 was developed “during the 1940 war between the Soviet Union and Finland,” and used “commerically available parts already available in the Soviet Union.”

Improvements made to the GAZ-67 over the earlier GAZ-64 included, among other things, a stronger frame, wider wheel base and greater fuel capacity.  This newer version was first produced in September 1943 with the B-series entering production as a replacement in January 1944.

Many people paint Blood Bowl players/combatants, but this month Dave from Scent of a Gamer presents something for the teams to fight over:  four trophies!  They are good sized as trophies go and to illustrate this Dave includes a couple of players for scale.

Scent of a Gamer Blood Blowl Trophies

See pictures below for each trophy’s title.

The trophies have some fun lore associated with them.  When I asked David about it he wrote that each of these trophies is awarded for a separate, major contest with the Blood Bowl being “the richest tournament which awards players a finalist medal.”  My favorite is the Chaos Cup (obviously) because of the “special interest” the Chaos Gods take in the tournament, resulting in random mutations and the like, as well as innovations such as prize money being determined randomly.  (“Yes, Gruncher, we only took second place but we got ALL the money!”)

David “decided to stick as close as possible to the original art in the 1993 Blood Bowl box.”  The pictures below show each trophy next to their original art.  I think he did a good job with that and a nice job painting them as well.

Maenoferren22 of Bogenwald worked on cavalry again this month but this time instead of Lustria he rides into Japan, possibly during (by the looks of things) the Sengoku period, which was a long period of civil war.

I always wondered about those flags on their backs or sashimono.  They look pretty cool in those old movies I used to watch many years ago (back when James Clavell’s novel, Shogun was popular) and I always assumed they had to do with identification and unit cohesion.  Turns out I wasn’t far wrong.

Bogenwald Samurai Cavalry

Plus they also provide aspiring tabletop shoguns scope for painting because Maenoferren22 wrote that he spent a fair amount of time painting the mon (emblems) on the sashimono and he had to 3D print them separately as well.  With posts such as I Hate Sashimono,” and Maeno’s general sashimono-based efforts here and here, it is a good thing they add a lot of color and interest to miniatures as well as fun to old timey war movies because otherwise I’d have to say there were an awful lot of trouble.  Fortunately it turns out they are worth it.

Maeno’s force certainly is colorful and there are quite a lot of them now.  They’ll present quite a spectacle and instill the requisite awe and fear in his enemy’s hearts on the battlefield.

Bogenwald Japanese Force

Argentbadger of The Bovine Overlord continues to expand his painted Warmachine collection and this month he has painted Anastasia Di Bray of the Mercenaries faction.  Argent reports that she is “basically a spy in the stories and her game rules involve ambush deployment and a highly amusing (if hard to pull off) special rule,” that seems to involve creeping up to the enemy warcaster/leader-type such that her forces can take advantage of the distraction to move into “punch them to death” range.

This seems a highly desirable thing to do and I have to say that I’d make sure Anastasia (or anyone else who could pull off a plan like that) got paid on time and was happy with her mercenary contract.  Wouldn’t want to look up one day and find out the hard way she’d gone over to the enemy!

Argent used “dark, naturalistic colours” for this miniature because it fit into the idea of Anastasia being sneaky.  He also pointed out that he liked the “fairly old” and “understated” pose versus the probable newer sculpt that would have her “balanced precariously on a rock throwing knives around like confetti.”  I agree and think that companies often overdo this, especially with rank-and-file types.  Heck, even though I don’t play Warmachine I find myself wanting this miniature because I think it would be useful for Dungeons & Dragons and other games.

Wudugast of Convert or Die! apparently has a love-hate relationship with the Adeptus Mechanicus.  Here we have two Skitarii rangers, one of which he started years ago, abandoned the project, then finished him for the challenge; the other he recently knocked out in about ninety minutes.

Convert or Die Two Skitarii Rangers

Can you tell which is which?  I think they both look great.

I said “love-hate” because Wudugast wrote that he has “a long standing love for the Adeptus Mechanicus, dating back to long before there was a range of models available for them,” but that until now he had “never painted a single model from the range,” and he found painting his first ranger an exercise in “frustration and irritation,” though he did much better sanity-wise with the second.  I’m glad because I’d very much like to see more Adeptus Mechanicus stuff from the mighty Wudugast!

What game doesn’t need more “hard-done-by civilians” to populate its burgeoning Necromunda hives?  Wudu is quite right to complain that with all of the xenos, cultists, gangs and such, no one is “here to do a day’s work.  They just seem to think that the corroded pipes, pools of toxic gunk and ominous piles of skulls just happen by magic.”  Complain no longer for here are some “Mechanics” produced by C-P Models ready to put in a hard day’s work.

Well, they used to be mechanics until Convert or Die’s chief, um, “converter” got his multifarious and (perhaps) charmingly misshaped paws on them.  He also used “heads from Anvil Industry and various Games Workshop gubbins.”  The spherical drone was “kitbashed entirely out of odds and ends” and almost ended back in the bits box junk pile until Wudugast decided his new workmen might make use of it.

Convert or Die Necromunda civilians three and drone

I wonder if that drone perhaps needs a candle?

Wudugast also wanted to experiment with “a new and easier way to paint orange.”  For these chaps he base coated with Jokaero Orange, followed by Gryph-Hound Orange Contrast, ending with a highlight of Jokaero Orange and then Fire Dragon Bright.  Looks pretty good to me.  Might have to try this recipe out.  Certainly sounds easy enough.

On a side note, I mentioned to Wudu that I liked the candles and he told me they came from the Cawdor kit.  Fancy!

Here are the original C-P Models mechanics in case you were wondering:

Convert or Die Mechanics models C-P Models

The think the guy on the left is pissed about his errant pile of skulls.

Head swaps, candles, sinister drone assistants and the like might not be ideal working conditions/fringe benefits, but at least they are better off than these four unfortunates below.  If you would like to see Wudugast’s completed forty poxwalker-strong mob (I manually counted them in the picture), with all of his various conversions, sometimes subtle but always delightful, you can find them here.

We continue our tour of Necromunda with Alex’s (of Leadballoony) D’onne ‘Mad D’onna’ Ultanti miniature he “originally intended to complete” a couple of years ago, again for his yearly Fembruary painting challenge.  Happily, Alex finally managed to gather his courage and complete the miniature for this little challenge.

Leadballoony D'onne Ultani front view

Forget the weaponry, the hair alone puts D’onne firmly into the elite category.

I suspect D’onne would be the sort of person our aforementioned mechanics would complain about, what with her tragic upbringing, her time in and out of various underhive gangs, and not having the inclination what with being on the run and all, to admire their cunning fashioned piles of skulls and working, not-leaking-too-badly plumbing. 

Given her penchant for the plasma pistol and table manners (one wonders if a fish fork is the correct utensil for taking out someone’s eye at a formal dinner … at least in polite society?) I imagine said mechanics would do well to keep their opinions firmly to themselves.  

Alex based his paint scheme for D’onne from the book, Survival Instinct, by Andy Chambers.  The cover art was done by Clint Langley.  He (Alex not Andy or Clint) talks about some of the challenges of painting the miniature, such as fishnets, and I have to agree that sounds hard.  Well done, Alex, for finally getting D’onne finished and not having to endure another year of her sending you threatening, faux Morse code-based messages from your bits box by cunningly revving her (nuclear powered?) chainsword, demanding you get her painted for Fembruary 2021.  Now you can have some other miniature threaten you instead!

Candore Et Labore Tree person bust ink sketch effect clip art

Eric of Candore Et Labore certainly was productive for the month of April, which heralded (besides finishing 26 models) the completion of Eric’s first (five months in the making) diorama.  Here we have a scene near the cliffs of Dover, very likely during the Battle of Britain.  Note that the decals on the German aircraft, painted in 1940 colors, represent the 109 flown by Luftwaffe ace, Feldwebel Heinz Bär.

Candore Et Labore Spitfire and Me 109 diorama

1/72 scale German Bf 109 E-3 and British Spitfire Mk I.a.

Some of the “many firsts” for Eric in his diorama is “modeling water using toilet paper, using an airbrush to paint a realistic model and camouflage and making smoke/fire from cotton balls.”  I think he did a great job and this dogfight alone would have been a good month’s work, in my estimation, but Eric was far from done yet.

From England we journey to a scratch-built patch of North Africa where Eric has emplaced a flak gun.  I like how this turned out, particularly the weathering on the gun shield.  The sandbags where a nice touch too, as well as the verisimilitude in locating the emplacement in what seems a tactically sound area.  The picture gives the sense that the area is a slight depression.  The ridge on the right provides good cover and concealment on that side and the Germans have placed some sand bags where they would do some good for the riflemen.  Perhaps they have a machine gun back there somewhere they could bring up if needed?

Candore Et Labore German flak gun diorama

This Flugabwehrkanone is from Tamiya’s “Siege of Tobruk” set in 1/48 scale.

Eric fired up his printer and completed some alien plants.  His idea was to paint them up fast with “wild colors,” and to that end Eric “used only craft store paints straight from the battle.”  (Note the guardsman in the bottom right picture put in for scale.)

Eric also printed out and painted a Necromunda loader and a “little critter” that reminds me of a Tarantula sentry gun with twin assault cannons.  (I think I have one with heavy bolters eternally lost somewhere in my pile of plastic.)  He also got an interesting bit of terrain done that looks like it could be some sort of turbine or field generator.

Finally, Eric painted two busts that he “had printed months ago.”  The plant person on the left is “baby Groot,” and the idea was to “put a small cactus in his head,” which is hollow like a planter, and present Baby Groot Cactus Head as a present for his wife’s birthday.  Alas, with the stores closed down he couldn’t make the cactus happen, but he did also paint up a plague doctor bust.  Nice!

Mark, of Man of Tin, inspired by a 1987 article by Stuart Asquith, decided to open up his blue box of drawers that has done good service by helping “preserve a small core of randomly painted and unpainted figures from my gaming in the 1980s throughout many house moves.”

He has taken advantage of his extra hobby time to finish a bunch of figures and units that have been sitting around for nearly 40 years.  Mark got a lot of work done and I’m sure there is much more space in his blue box to build up to another big painting project by 2060 or so!

Man of Tin Peter Laing 15mm ECW unit with white and gray flag

Peter Laing 15mm English Civil War pikemen complete at last.

In addition to the Blue Box Figures, Mark also had another box where he stored “random figures from job lots,” that he acquired in his quest for more Peter Laing figures.  Some of scrapped metal found new life as european “ImagiNations ‘Forgotten Minor States,'” such as the Volunteer Militia.  One wonders what the symbol on their flag is supposed to represent?

Man of Tin FMS unit Volunteer Militia of Thyer Brigadia

Volunteer Militia of Thyer Brigadia unit.

Some “Confederates, generic rebels or Revolutionary forces” made up from “unpainted scrap American Civil War type figures from various makers in mixed uniforms.”  Given its pedigree, it seems to me like this unit ought to get some sort of bonus in games when fielded as irregulars, militia, etc.

Man of Tin generic Confederates rebels revolutionary forces unit

“They have improvised themselves a dramatic Revolutionary flag.”

The cannon is “from the Napoleonic Risk board game served by a crew made from “broken figures.”

Man of Tin cannon and crew from the Napoleonic Risk game

Artillery support, perhaps, for our revolutionary types above?

Besides, revolutionaries, Mark also found (and patched up) pirate types a plenty in his magic Blue Box of Insurrection. I think he has enough miniatures between these guys and some of the others to put on a pretty respectable Treasure Island game.

Man of Tin 15mm Pirates with muskets and blunderbusses

Forgotten Minor States: 15mm pirates with muskets and blunderbusses.

Man of Tin 15mm Pirates with muskets and blunderbusses

More 15mm pirates (or brigands perhaps) with long pistols.

These chaps below in white shirts could fill many roles.  Guerrillas, colonists, sailors pressed into service by the pirates perhaps?

Man of Tin Guerillas or sailor looking types in white shirts with muskets or rifles

Guerillas or sailors with muskets or rifles (and a cannon!).

Mark also found a lot of 15mm “Tricorne figures with short muskets or carbines.”  He painted them to be “practical Redcoats roughing it in the forest wilds or along the cliffs and coast searching for Natives or Wreckers.”  Worthy opponents for the revolutionaries and pirates and as Mark points out could be useful for 18th Century Close Wars types of conflicts “in the forests of America.”

Mark completed a couple of dioramas, in addition to his newly refurbished 1980’s 15mm forces.  Here we have a “border watchtower in one of the forgotten minor states.”

Man of Tin Border Watchtower hex diorama

The hexes look good and a board of these would make for a very playable game.

Man of Tin Border Watchtower hex diorama view from back

This picture makes me want to play either a Command & Colors game or Muskets & Tomahawks.

Finally, Mark put together a “portable port” that was (in part) “inspired by finding a Murray King postcard of Cornish Wreckers” when he was “on a seaside trip a year or two ago.”

Man of Tin Portable Port

“Redcoats!  Smugglers!  Wreckers!”  Note the postcard in back.

The lighthouse and warehouses came from a “wooden buildings from Christmas” project.  The Martello tower has a swiveling cannon that Mark is very proud of.  He writes more about the these fortifications and how he made his here.  A spoiler:  it involves some “mini crumble puddings” containers.

Miko, of Dawn of the Lead, offers up a “mixed selection” of six miniatures he painted this month.  I think they are all very nicely painted and I like the background he used for them too.

The fellow below on the left is Black Cat Bases’s metal pirate surgeon, who provides many opportunities for the Carpenter to make a wooden limb.”  The pirate is Esmerelda II from Black Scorpion Miniatures.  Let’s hope a wooden limb isn’t in her future anytime soon!

Dawn of the Lead Barber Surgeon and Esmerelda

Like the glasses and the pirates’s hat & hair.

The monkey with the hat is another miniature from Black Scorpion.  (I think Mikko did a much better job of painting his than the one on the company website for what it is worth.)  Originally, as I pointed out in the comments to his post, I thought the miniature was a “dwarf anthro-donkey swashbuckler with an outrageously oversized hat,” but nope, it’s a monkey.

The monkey on the barrel was a “3d print from Depths of Savage Atoll.”  Speaking of barrels, Mikko did some more you can check out here.

Dawn of the Lead pair of monkeys

Another great hat.

The pirate on the left, with the raised sword, is a “custom Hero Forge piece” who Mikko named Smith of Bristol.  The inspiration for the name comes from a song by the Dubliners, and “tells the story of a daring pirate who goes around a-plunderin’ and a-robbin’ before finally being killed by a Spanish bullet.”  If you want to listen to the song, Mikko put a Youtube link in his blog post.

The last miniature is Tigl Uilenspiegel (or Till Owlglass), who “is a 16th (or possibly 15th or even earlier) century trickster figure,” and a rather odd fellow indeed.  Nice job with this one:  I really like the shading of the skin and the choice of colors for his clothes.

Dawn of the Lead Smith of Bristol and Till Owlglass

Finally, we wrap up our April painting challenge with my small contribution:  a bugbear and two poxwalkers, #18 and #19.  I liked how the flesh on “Somewhat Orange Poxwalker” came out so I might do something similar with the flesh on #20, which is the second of the great coat zombies.  (I saved the ones I wanted to paint the least until last.)

Bugbear and Poxwalker #18 and #19 for 12 Months of Hobby Painting Challenge at Painting in the Dark by Warbringer April 30 2020

Only one more poxwalker to go and I’ll have finally finished my Dark Imperium zombies.

Thank you very much again to everyone who participated in this, my second painting challenge.  If I left you out, please let me know and I’ll rectify the situation pronto.  If you haven’t seen Part One of this challenge, you can check it out here.

I apparently haven’t had enough of running painting challenges yet, so if you enjoyed this one and want more, check out the Sixty Day Miniatures of Magnitude Painting Challenge, which ends on July 3rd.

Take care, thank you for reading … and Paint On!

Fight On guy

 

April 2020 “Paint the Crap You Already Own!” Painting Challenge Round-up (Part 1 of 2)

My thoughts turned (as they often do, especially when I’m buying another box of undead or demons or something) to the fact that most of us already have a box or closet or garage full of unpainted plastic and wouldn’t it be nice to chip away at that mountain, even if only symbolically?  Thus the Paint the Crap You Already Own! painting challenge was born.

We have twenty-two artists, who contributed pictures of their work, this time around.  As you will see, this post is quite long.  So I decided to split the round-up into two parts.

If you click on the various pictures and such, many of them will take you to the painter’s website.  Click on the galleries to see larger versions of the pictures.  (As usual there are a few Easter Eggs here and there.) Thank you to everyone who participated and I will get the second part out just as soon as I can.

Who better to place in the vanguard of this month’s offerings than a squad of Mcmattilaminis’ nicely painted space marine scouts with shotguns led by the sergeant with a big fist?

I like the basing skulls, particularly the orkish one.

Mcmattilaminis reports that he did quite a bit of work modifying these guys.  He used Scion heads, which I agree look good on these guys.  I also appreciate his nod to tradition in having the sergeant eschew wearing (or even carrying) a helmet.

I thought the backpacks were a nice touch too and added a lot both from an aesthetic and gaming standpoint.  (These also came from the Scion box.)  They look good and if you use these scouts in a game they can pay the points and have camo cloaks or if you’d rather not, well, they’re rolled up and stowed.

Nice job on the camo cloaks.

Mcmattilamini also presents three orks, which seem like they’d make suitable enemies for our scouts.  I like the weather and armor chipping and the orange is pretty.  Plenty colorful too.  The freehand work on the helmets and shoulder pads and the little “evil sun” on the boy’z shoulder pad on the right are all nice touches.

I like how he uniforms aren’t identical …

… but still appear unified along the same theme.

Mikeland82 from Starship Vorenus writes that “from 28th Feb through to the end of June I would buy no new minis, and focus on the backlog.”  In other words he’s going to paint the crap he already owns.  Good man!  He made excellent progress for May as the gallery below illustrates.  (You can also see some larger pictures of these models by clicking on the gallery or still larger yet on the round-up post in his blog.)

My personal favorites are the Last of the Mohicans figures.  I remember these miniatures from a Muskets & Tomahawks game I played at a convention some years ago.  I also like how Mike based them so they are carefully advancing through the tall grass.  The brown roots evoke memories of wetlands for me because I’ve hiked and hunted many times through exactly this kind of thing back in my ancestral stomping grounds of New England.  Never met any Mohicans but I’d occasionally meet a Penobscot.

Turning toward the gigantic now, we have Lordcommandereloth’s, of Eloths Endeavours, mighty “Stick Man” with a giant sword that his wife bought him for their 5th wedding anniversary.  As he reports, this is most appropriate since this the wooden anniversary.  Good thinking indeed on both their parts!

A lot of interesting stuff going on with this highly impressive centerpiece ent.

I think LMC did a brilliant job.  I particularly like the bark and all the many details, such as the red shelf mushrooms, the sword and staff, the leaf loincloth and of course the base.  L.C. Eloth says that he did the bark by basing with a cream color, washing with dark brown and then dry brushing progressively lighter colors ending with white.  Smashing.  Did I say that I liked the bark yet because I really do?

In addition to all of this arboreal goodness, I found some interesting work-in-progress posts as well:

Next up is that rather prolific painter, Azazel of Azazel’s Bitz Box, with, well, lots of different things.  Imagine, for a moment, that you have been challenged to play a game with whatever figures you can paint in 30 days.  The game is Mishmash 40,000 where your force is more effective and you unlock key capabilities by putting together something like what we have below.

Azazel's April 2020 Wrap Up Photo

I respectfully submit, Gentle Reader, that this is a power gamer’s list for Mishmash 40K!

If you would like to know more about these miniatures, I’ve included a list of Azazel’s individual posts.  Something I find interesting about reading his site is that he enjoys working on older pieces and one gets to see some unlikely and obscure items from the past on his blog.  From more or less left to right (more or less) from the above image:

As Azazel pointed out, a few things he painted didn’t make it into the above group picture.  He painted two of the “industrial pallets” from the Battlefield Accessories Set, of which I only see one.  His Slaaneshi Champion, from 1988, who has been sitting neglected for maybe 20 years never made it into the picture and neither did a respectably large collection of cages and chains.  I don’t know if it is just me, but do you think perhaps there might be some sort of dark prince-based connection here?

Azazel's Wizkid's Cages

I definitely could come up with some interesting house rules for this terrain.

Azazel's Champion of Slaanesh

Twenty years and now a fully painted Slave to Darkness!

Azazel's two Reiksgard Foot Knights

“Reiksguard Knighrts, your Emperor is calling!”

We turn now from ancient miniatures cast during the mists of time and left sitting on desks throughout dark antiquities to a painter, who is making her debut on the pages of this blog, and exhibits her art using the non de plume of The Little Elf.  Her work can be primarily found at Double Down Dice, where she is assisted by Faust.

I like Little Elf’s choice of colors for Her Little Pony.  One wonders what the pony’s name is and what magical powers our equine friend exhibits?

Faust’s offering is another Blood Bowl entry, well, sort of.  He is planning to use the prosperous fellow below as a “dwarf coach” for his team, though I agree with Faust that Coach could also “do double duty as a merchant, noble, etc. for other games.”  Whatever the case, surrounded as he is by all of those chests of treasure, Blood Bowl seems to be treating him well.  What more could any dwarf want?

Faust said that the gold bands on the chest are lighter in the picture than in person.

Speaking of the chests, Faust reports that he used Contrast paints for the wood, “which was nice and quick.”  He used Army Painter Light Tone shade for the metal parts.  I liked how the wood turned out and the word “quick” got my attention as it always does, so I asked him in the comments what he used for paints.

Faust wrote that he used Gore-Grunta Fur Contrast for the open chest, Wyldwood Contrast for the darkest one, and Aggaros Dunes Contrast for the lightest chest.  “Washes were only used sparingly towards the base on most of the chests.”

Thanks, Faust, I’m definitely going to give this a try on my two Etsy chests!

Glad the painting challenge helped you get this guy done!  I like the cloak.

Next up we have The Introverted Hermit, who some of you might know as (among other things) the Monday Maker of Mandalas.  This month she completed some interesting (and useful speaking from someone who plays D&D with a grid map) bases and bunch of “miniatures I’ve had shoved in drawers for months.”  Sounds like an ideal project for the “Paint the Crap You Already Own” challenge!

Here we have our Stone Golem friend, who made its debut in the advertisment for the upcoming May Miniatures of Magnitude challenge.  I would say from the expression on its face, some treasure robber is going to have a bad day.

Stone Golem by The Introverted Hermit

Love the mean, glaring expression.

As for the treasure this lithic chap is guarding, I.H. helpfully supplied some treasure bases, including this one and some more in the gallery …

The Introverted Hermit treasure base

I think my 3rd level Fighter could retire with all of this loot.

… and being ever-helpful, there are also some bases of bones, entrails, and such in the gallery just in case things go awry for any plunderers of ancient wizards’ towers.

Last and not least, just in case our adventurers don’t run afoul of bandits, gnolls, bugbears, mind flayers, bat swarms, and trolls, plus make it past the stone golem, there is this Mummy Captain and/or Lord as a suitable end boss.  In addition to dual-wielding a couple of khopesh-looking blades, the good captain/lord may also have defenses and powers formed from the dreams/nightmares of the intrepid DM!

The Introverted Hermit Egyptian theme skeleton

“Join me in death, vile mortals!”

Continuing down the black road of eldritch magicks, undeath, darkness and perhaps even “vile mortals,” we have another Reaper offering from Dave at The Imperfect Modeller —  the aptly named Marise Greyshroud (and friends).

The Imperfect Modeller Marise Greyshroud front

One wonders what the writing on the sword says.

I must say that Dave has been doing a good job of marketing for Reaper between their fun miniatures and his great painting skills.  Last month his wizard caused me (or perhaps ensorcelled me, who knows?) to go over the their website, make an account, and put a bunch of their miniatures onto my nascent wish list.

Besides being nicely painted, Queen Greyshroud (or perhaps Greenshroud?) would certainly make a meet sovereign for some wraiths I started assembling.  Yet more grist for the mill of my Reaper wish list?

Ghostly Ink Sketch from The Imperfect Modeller's Marise Greyshroud 125 wide

I think it is best, before I hand the good folks at Reaper all my credit cards, to perhaps plane shift over to the more solid ground of Napoleon and the 19th Century, courtesy of Marvin at Suburban Militarism.  For April, he undertook the fairly ambitious project of completing these 28 figures representative of Napoleon’s Old Guard.

Twenty-eight Old Guard in 1/72 scale by Strelets.

Marvin says that he liked how the miniatures had interesting “facial features which seem to give each pose character.”  He goes on to opine:  “Perhaps my favourite is this fella below who seems to be casting a quizzical glance askew.”  (He is speaking of the soldier in the largest image on the right in the gallery below.)  I wonder if the grizzled veteran can’t help but think of all that has happened over his years of service and wonder how it all could have come to this?

The “this” I’m referring to is of course Napoleon’s farewell address before he leaves for his exile to the Isle of Elba in 1814.  Marvin has put down some sand and arrayed his Old Guard into a hollow square in front of his 18th Century country house that has also seen duty as an ersatz palace.

“Soldiers of my Old Guard, after 20 years I have come to say goodbye!”

Here we have Napoleon Bonaparte.  The figure below also comes with the Strelets kit, which I think is a nice touch.  Marvin, as a painting guide, “settled on some portraits of him wearing a grey overcoat and the uniform of a colonel of the Chasseurs a Cheval,” and including “a silver medal with a red ribbon” he often wore.

L’Empereur Himself!

All quite well done, I’d say, but Marvin wasn’t done yet.  No, not by a long shot.  He decided to make a Youtube video, “Napoleon leaves for Elba”.  This link will take you directly to the video, where you can leave Marvin a like if you wish.

You can also access the video from his page or see a non-video pictorial transcript of the farewell.  Marvin was kind enough to allow me to post the video here as well.

We say farewell (or bon voyage perhaps?) now to Napoleon and hoof it west, hop a boat, hoof it west some more and finally hop into our moves-temporally-while-staying-in-the-same-place time machine from France to the Aztec Empire.

Mark Morin recently purchased a bunch of miniatures that were from the ’70s to the ’90’s, including a bunch of Badger Games Aztecs.  He originally didn’t have a “fully developed concept” for them, but then he “volunteered to write a supplement covering the Spanish Conquest of the Americas in the 16th Century,” and thus he had a reason to paint up his miniatures.  Let’s begin things with Mark’s novice warriors.

Mark Morin Group shot of 12 novices

I’m sure what the novices lack in experience they more than make up for their enthusiasm.

Mark reports that “a major aspect of warfare of this period was the overriding need to take captives.”  A novice could advance to veteran status by taking suitable prisoners.  (You can read more about what he has to say on the subject here.)

Next up are the veteran eagle warriors.  These guys and the novices represent the beginning of what Mark hopes will someday be an impressive force of 150 painted models.  I like how colorful these Aztecs are, so I agree that many warriors would look very nice on the tabletop.

Mark Morin Eagle Warriors advancing close up

Veterans on the run brandishing their tepoztopilli (spears).

I fondly remember the days of lead miniatures so it comes as no surprise to me that Mark wrote that the spears were “spaghetti-like” and “vulnerable to bending.”  I liked his solution, which was to put a thin layer of Apoxie Sculpt on the weapons, which made them less bendy.  That is a great idea that I’m going to remember.  Mark details the process he used here if you are interested.  I’m looking forward to seeing what the future brings for his 150 warrior horde. 

Tarmor of Dragons of Lancasm, who is “married with four chickens,” completed five Reaper miniatures this month.  He hasn’t been painting as much because he’s getting ready to play Shadowrun, but five is “more painting than I’ve achieved any other month this year!” so it sounds good to me.  Heck, I would count five as a darned good month in my household so well done, Tarmor!

Dragons of Lancasm front view

I like Mal’s glowing, green eyes.

The miniatures represent, from left to right, “Reaper 03893 “Mal” Catfolk Warrior, SW76 Mon Calamari, SW26 Bossk (trandoshan bounty hunter), SW77 Engineer, & SW27 Weequay.”

Dragons of Lancasm back view

Looks like the Star Wars contingent isn’t getting along very well at the moment!

He plans on using the Reaper Catfolk Warrior as “one of the player characters” in his D20 Gamma World game.  The other Star Wars figures were produced by West End Games/Grenadier as part of boxed sets in 1988-89, and he purchased them back then.

Glad to see you were able to get some of those vintage figures you’ve had sitting around painted up!

Dragons of Lancasm Catfolk Warrior Reaper 03893 ink sketch 150 wide

Obliterators are used to endings (or ending peoples’ lives, rather!) so I think a pair of these guys are a good place to close out part one of our round-up.  The Word Bearers are strong over at Dreadaxe Games as is evidenced by first a helbrute and now this fanatically gruesome (or gruesomely fanatical?) pair offered up for our spiritual edification and enslavement. 

Dreadaxe achieved his obliterators’ “mad pink” flesh by base coating with Rakarth Flesh, which he washed with Carroburg Crimson.  He “added Cruchii Violet to the recesses and some of the more bulbous areas of the skin for a bruised, infected look.”

On that happy note so ends Part One of the April 2020 “Paint the Crap You Already Own!” challenge.   Part Two will be about as long as this offering and I will publish it as soon as I can.  I hope you have enjoyed our little journey through space, time, and the imagination.  So we won’t say goodbye quite yet to our painting challenge but instead au revoir!

Napoleon doffing his hat stylized ink sketch 200 tall from picture by Suburban Militarism

Sixty Day Miniatures of Magnitude Painting Challenge! (May-June 2020)

Time for another painting challenge!  This time the idea is to paint at least one model that represents a creature, machine or terrain piece that is on the larger side.  Aircraft, daemon engines, tanks, giants, trains, cavewomen riding mammoths, ships, and beasts that are great, writhing masses of tentacles, eyes, and maws that tumbled down from the stars or crawled up out of the sewer all will find a home in this challenge.

(Note that if you click on the pictures,  they will take you to the artists’ websites.  I’ve included some examples below of projects that would work for this challenge.)

Part of “Clean Oceans” mural on Mission Street in Santa Cruz, California

Rules of the Challenge

  • The challenge closes on July 3rd, 2020 at midnight (last place on Earth).  The project must be completed, but if you can’t get your pictures posted by that date, it is fine.  Just post them as soon as you can.
  • Models must represent a creature at least the size of an ogre or small giant.  Machines must represent something that is at least as large as a medium-sized armored vehicle or single-seat aircraft.
  • Terrain pieces and dioramas are also welcome.  (See examples below.)
  • Any scale is welcome.  The miniatures can be small but have to represent things that would be large at 1:1 scale.  Also, there is nothing to say it has to be a miniature.  If you want to paint a mural, put a coat of paint on your house, refinish a good-sized piece of furniture, those would all count too as long as it is a painting or staining project.
  • Projects can be works in progress at the start of the challenge or you can begin something new.
  • You can complete one model or as many as you want.  Basing is great, but is optional.
  • Questions, comments, ideas?  Let me know in the comments.

If you paint small models during the challenge that would strongly fit thematically with your larger miniature, you can include them in a group shot.  For example, if Azazel painted an APC, like the one pictured below, and also painted some suitable space marine passengers to go along with it, he could include the marines in the group shot.

001001 Citadel Rhino Plague Marines Iron Warriors

Rhino APC and space marine rides by Azazel of Azazel’s Bitz Box.

Dioramas are also welcome for the challenge.  In these cases the whole is greater than the sum of its parts so you are not required to include a large creature or dominating terrain feature, although you may.  Pat included a good-sized wall in his “Desert Attack,” but the diorama would have qualified for the challenge without the wall because there is plenty going on here without it!

“Desert Attack” by the eponymous Pat of Pat’s 1:72 Military Diorama’s

A single building will qualify for this painting challenge.  Dave built a Wells Fargo Way Station as part of of diorama, but the building alone would qualify too.  As you can see, he went to the effort to model the inside as well.  (Click on the image to see the outside of his building and the overall diorama.)

Inside of Wells Fargo Way Station by Dave at The Imperfect Modeller.

Wudugast’s rat-ogre and its slightly smaller friend would both qualify for the challenge.  If he painted the ratman, with the spiked club and shield, on the far right during the challenge, it would fit thematically with the others and he could include it in a group shot (like the one below) if he wanted.

Stormfiend Skaven Wudugast ConvertOrDie (9)

Wudugast’s “rat-ogre” (left) and friends from Convert or Die.

Aircraft, like this representation from WWI by John, could fly into the challenge.  Any sizable machine or vehicle from any historical period as well as from milieus that only exist in the imagination are fair game.

2017_0716_15482000

Amercom Albatros D.V in “Airforce, One” by John of Just Needs Varnish!

Miniatures that represent towering statues or impressive golems that might guard forgotten ruins or await orders from a dread magician are appropriate …

Stone Golem by The Introverted Hermit

… as are mighty warriors (reptilian and otherwise) riding fearsome dinosaurs!

Scar Veteran riding a repurposed Allosaurus by Maenoferren22 of Bogenwald.

Trolls can come in many shapes and sizes and fortunately a lot of them can stand eye to eye with an ogre.  Some have interesting professions and hobbies too, such as playing in death sports, football leagues, or both at the same time.

My friend, Dave’s, troll and accompanying goblin cheerleader.

As for me, I hope to finally finish a pig demon-looking thing that a friend asked me to paint for him so long ago now that he apparently forgot I still had the miniature.  Heck, I forgot about the pig demon too until I happened to find it when I was organizing my hobby room/office.  So this challenge will push me to put pig demon toward the top of my painting queue and get it back into my friend’s hands before the end of the Aquarian Age!

With then still WIP poxwalker #18 to demonstrate scale.

The pig demon is my first priority, but maybe I can squeeze in Becky the Bloat Drone here too.  If so, my post-Heresy Death Guard forces will wax mighty indeed comprising this daemon engine and a full 20 zombie squad (hopefully) of poxwalkers.  Let the galaxy tremble!

Becky: Failing painting challenges since 2017!

After this painting challenge ends, I’m going to take July off from running painting challenges. Azazel has written that he might be doing a Jewel in July challenge for 2020 and if he does I’ll be painting for that.

Until next time paint on!

 

Fight On! From D&D Vol 3: The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures ...

 

Bugbear with Mace & Shield Finished

I finished my first Etsy Bugbear with a mace and shield last night and took some pictures this morning.  I’m fairly happy with him because whatever shortcomings he has paint-wise I do think he does look suitably powerful and brutal.  I can’t help but think that my new friend here would be at home in a Robert E. Howard Weird Tales story.

Of the three miniatures this one is my favorite pose.

For the flesh I base coated with Doombull Brown, washed the whole miniature with Agrax Earthshade, then painted the muscles with Tuskor Fur.  Then I highlighted with about a 50/50 mix of Tuskor Fur and Kislev Flesh, and washed the whole thing (optionally, I think now) with a glaze of Contrast Medium and Reikland Fleshshade.  I finished the flesh with some very small highlights of Kislev, and some Bugman’s Glow along the upper part of his lip.

I haven’t tried to do much with flesh in the past, so this is the beginning of a learning curve for me.  One thing I’m discovering is that once I get past the Doombull stage it is good to dilute my paints on the palette so they are translucent and work on building up color on the muscles.  I will try to keep this in mind for the next two bugbears and going forward in general.*

Tusks and teeth were Dawnstone, Agrax, then highlights.

I painted the leather tunic with Vallejo Russian Green (70.894), washed with Agrax Earthshade and then highlighted with Nurgling Green.

I also experimented with some patches of Nurgling Green to try and make the leather look somewhat old and worn in places.  I’m going to play around with that some more with the next bugbear, which will be good practice trying to develop that technique.  Also, next time I think I might do the highlights of the raised folds with a slightly darker color than I used here to see if I like the results better.

Bracers: Rakarth, Skeletal Horde Contrast, Ushabti dry brush.

I wanted to do something other than my usual “glue on some sand and maybe a rock and bush and call it a day” basing method that I’ve been doing for the last five or six years.**  So out tried out the Slyvaneth Base from Warhammer TV.  Turned out to be simple, which I liked.  The base was primed with Rhinox Hide like the rest of the miniature.  I covered the base with Vallejo Dark Earth (26.218) Texture and glued down a little rock that wanted to come home with me during one of my early morning Social Distancing in the Darkness Hikes up in the hills.***

From there I dabbed Death World Forest all over the base so that the brown texture still showed through.  After that, I washed the base with Athonian Camoshade and dry brushed with Nurgling Green.  Then a light dry brush in patches (not the whole base) with Averland Sunset and finished it off by adding the flowers and brush.  (Chose tan brush over green because his tunic was green.)

Hair: Rhinox, Slyvaneth Bark dry brush

So this fellow with enter the painted ranks for my own contribution to the April painting challenge, which ends on May 3rd.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do for a painting challenge for May yet.  I have a day or two because in keeping with tradition the May challenge won’t end until June 3rd.  I don’t find myself tired of doing challenges yet or feeling like I need a break, so I’ll come up with something.  Not surprisingly it’ll be something that will feed in to what I hope to accomplish myself this month.

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to getting started on the April challenge round-up.  It is going to be a large one with lots of great models from many different artists!

This is how bugbears look in real life!

* In addition to the trio of mace bears, I also have three more Etsy bugbears with halberds who are anxiously anticipating any artistic attention that might come their way hopefully (for them) sooner rather than later.

** I’ve been continuing with this “desert basing” method with my poxwalkers because I want the mob to be uniform.  Once they are done, I think I’m going to try some desert texture products on future Nurgle forces.

*** I know the rock wanted to come home with me because I had to shake it out of my shoe and it was a sharp little bugger too.  Ouch!

Forgotten Ones Anthology, Bigfoots & Bugbears

Somewhere in the dissolving folds and mists of space-time, between obsessing over getting my 20 poxwalkers done in less than three years and finishing an Etsy bugbear before the current painting challenge closes on May 3rd, I received my author’s copy of Forgotten Ones, published by Eeire River Publishing out of Ontario, Canada, and it is currently available on Amazon.

Forgotten Ones is a collection of two hundred drabbles featuring “creatures of lore, and ancient rituals,” and happily (for me) four of these tiny tales came from my pen.*

Brass Cat and Carrot Foot would both give Forgotten Ones a thumbs up, if they had thumbs!

I see a number Lovecraft-inspired titles as well as Norse, Greek, Mayan, Biblical references and more as I hold the book in my right hand and scan through the table of contents while I one-finger type this with my left.  (Not bad if I say so myself and I do!)

I’ve written quite a few of these drabbles over the past year or so.  I’ve noticed that with a little practice one develops a knack for hitting pretty close to one hundred words on the first couple of tries.  Sometimes a drabble will lead me into writing a longer story and other times I’m content, like Poe and many others, to leave at least one character screaming out their remaining existence in a wet tomb, whether that be a literal one or a sarcophagus of the imagination and so on.**  

My Forgotten Ones drabbles feature such innovations as a change of viewpoint in an iconic scene from The Odyssey and another was inspired by my general reading about Hellenistic mystery religions/schools.  Then there is the magician in north Africa in danger of being (deservedly though I’m sure he’d disagree!) burned alive … but wait, look, the sky it, it … Eieee! … and my personal favorite of the four, “Robin Never Finished Her Bigfoot Video.”***

I think turning from bigfeet to bugbears makes for a nice segue, don’t you?  I’ve been continuing to make progress on my Etsy Work-in-Progress bugbear that I want to get done before my Paint the Crap You Already Own! painting challenge wraps up on May 3rd.  I completed the base coat colors for all three mace-and-shield bugbears a few days ago and decided to finish at least one to go along with poxwalker #18.

April 20, 2020: Put some base colors on my trio of mace-wielding bugbears

The first time I heard the word “bugbear” was when as a child I heard someone say that something was his bugbear and I thought he meant it was his pet and wondered what a bear that was a bug or bug that was a bear looked like.  Although it was lost as far as I know in the aforementioned mists of space-time, I drew a bugbear in grade school art class not long after.  I remember it looked like a bear and I gave it the head of an ant because at that time (and I still do!) I liked ants quite a lot.

I later on discovered bugbears figured in folklore and then later on, when I was introduced to Dungeons & Dragons, they figured there too as a type of large “goblinoid” that was violent – no real surprise there – and stealthy – considering their bulk a bit more surprising – and not too smart but possessed of a low cunning.****

WIP Bugbear One on April 24, 2020.

To the best of my knowledge bugbears first appeared in D&D with the publication of the Greyhawk supplement, where there is a (to me) silly picture of a furry, ogre-like creature with a tomato, pumpkin or some other such vegetable for a head.

Bugbears really came into their own to my thinking in AD&D some time later and I used them as antagonists quite a bit back then.  I also went through an Anne of Green Gables phase after reading the book.  Naturally this culminated, at its height, with my playing a bugbear ranger-type character, Anneglak, who ran around helping people, even though they initially misunderstood her what with being an eight foot tall bugbear.  Anneglak later considered herself the protector of the Green Forest, and I patterned the way she talked and such after the eponymous Anne Shirley.

Let’s hope the bigfoots don’t start getting organized!

Gosh, it is hard to believe now that I was ever so young.  Then again, it turned out that character, as silly as it all seems now, was beloved by the DM and other players.  Years later, I was talking to one of my fellow players from back then and she asked if I “still had Anneglak’s character sheet.”  I was impressed that she still remembered the character’s name!

Happy memories but back to now.  My current painting plan is to finish up my first bugbear before the end of April.  Maybe even poxwalker #19 too, but don’t hold me to it.  After that I’ll probably continue with my recent painting innovation of actually finishing up projects before moving on to something else and paint the other two for May.

This is the picture that inspired Anneglak.

* A drabble is a 100 word story.  Also see flash fiction for more information on this topic.  For “pen” read “keyboard.”

** Like Poe, Lovecraft, and many others I have a soft spot for burying people alive in my writing.  I’m reminded of that practice, apparently common not so long ago, of having a little bell on one’s grave plot with a connecting string into the coffin so if you end up waking up after the funeral and all of your nearest and dearest have gotten about their business of fighting over your will, you can at least hope someone can hear you.  This is especially important given that cell phones often lose their signal when you are buried in a coffin six feet under the earth.

***  I’ve always had a soft spot for bigfeet ever since I saw one on The Six Million Dollar Man.  Even more so now that my current home is among the redwoods on the California coast where (according to the local bigfoot museum) Sasquatch is alive and well.